Maternity – Home birth engagement

Lead: NHS Leeds CCG

Period: 26th Feb 2018 - 27th May 2018

We asked women, families, the wider public and health professionals about their perceptions of birthplace and what the risk around choice of birthplace might be.

Brief description of project

This engagement looked at:

  • Where local women and their families wanted to give birth
  • What people thought about the risks of giving birth at home

The aim of the engagement was to understand people’s needs and preferences around homebirth. This will help us to develop accessible information to enable local women and families make an informed choice about where they give birth.

Who did we speak to?

We received feedback from 126 women and their families and 62 members of healthcare staff.

What and how did we ask?

We used focus groups, surveys and interviews to ask how women and families made choices about where they gave birth and what information might influence that decision.  We also asked staff how confident they felt talking to women about their choices around place of birth.

What did people tell us?

People told us that:

  • They felt a hospital birth was the default option and that choices to give birth at home were limited.
  • Information about home birth was limited and that they made decisions based on advice and information from a range of sources such as health professionals, friends and family.
  • They were not always confident that healthcare professionals had the knowledge and skills to support them in their decision
  • Risk and safety were important factors when they made their decision about where to give birth

What did we do?

We are developing materials to support women and their families to make a choice about where they give birth, this includes:

  • A patient information leaflet about homebirth for women and their families. This will include information about the choices they have and safety issues.
  • Videos about people’s homebirth stories

All midwife staff are now receiving training to develop their understanding of homebirth and support women and their families with their decision making.

If you would like to read more information about this engagement please see the downloads section below.

Downloads:

Home birth engagement report (447KB)

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Home birth engagement plan (376KB)

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